Zenescope’s Grimm Universe is about to undergo some dramatic changes. For while the ancient war between the Dark Horde and the Guardians has been raging for ages and Wonderland and Neverland have already fallen to the monstrous Jabberwocky and the soul-devouring Pan, now an even greater threat has arisen, as the Dark Queen returns. Her aim to unleash an Age of Darkness upon all four Grimm Realms: Oz, Neverland, Wonderland, and Myst!
Standing against the Queen’s dark tide will be almost the whole Zenescope pantheon of characters, including the Realm Knights and especially Dr. Sela Mathers. But will even such an epic collection of heroes hope to contain the unbridled power and evil of the Dark Queen?
That is the over arching question that begins to be answered in this graphic novel, which is the first volume in what supposedly is going to be three "Age of Darkness" collections leading up to the Realm Wars series. A war that will change the Grimm Universe forever!
After finishing Age of Darkness Volume I, all I can say is that it was a decent read with some interesting stories. The Dark Queen one-shot at the beginning of the book nicely introduces the vile villainous and then sets the Realm Knights into action. The stories that follow contain some really interesting character-driven stories that bring the superhero/mystical action down to real world level, making it clear that all this immense universe changing stuff does not happen in a vacuum and does effect ordinary people. Unfortunately, like many compilation graphic novels, these stories do not have a common plot line that seamlessly drives a reader from one story to the next. Instead, the story bounces around from one character and situation to another with little connection, leaving a casual reader confused about what the hell is actually going on. A major let down for me: i.e. casual reader.
As for the artwork, it is very good. Stylized, action-oriented with the mandatory scantily-clad and sexy ladies throughout. But, as you read the compilation, you will notice that a different artist and/or art team has created each issue. While viewing different artistic styles and representations of familiar characters doesn’t bother me, I know that it does detract from some readers enjoyment of a story, so be prepared for the art to change as the story progresses.
All in all, Age of Darkness Volume I is best categorized as a setup story for the coming Realm Wars. If you are a dedicated fan of the Grimm Universe or a constant visitor, then this graphic volume is a must reading for the future shake up in the universe and is quite enjoyable. If you are just a person wanting an entertaining story that starts at point A and ends at Point B, I’d suggest that you skip this one and start your tour of the Grimm Universe in another place.
I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank both of them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.